When it comes to baseball, in appears Kansas City is still on a hot streak.
Three students from Pembroke Hill School recently beat out dozens of professionals in a national contest to design a World Series trophy for the Kansas City Royals. The 11th-grade students — Samuel Hrabko, Raghav Parikh, and Momin Tahirkheli — entered and won a design contest hosted by 3Diligent, a startup that created a marketplace for 3D printing services in El Segundo, Calif.
The students’ layer-cake-style trophy features the last name of each Royals player on the World Champions 25-man roster, to-scale buildings from the Kansas City skyline and the inscription “Supported by the Fans” on the bottom layer. Figurines of Royals supporters serve as footers to hold up the trophy.
A lifelong Royals fan, 3Diligent CEO Cullen Hilkene said the design captured the spirit of the Royals playoff run, which drew support from a rabid fan base that was deprived of a championship for 30 years. Hilkene said the trophy’s design incorporated creative elements of industrial-grade 3D printing and allowed the company to flex its technological prowesses.
“Given our access to this cutting edge printing technology, the best way we could commemorate (the World Series win) was to have a contest to submit designs that we’d have the ability to print,” said Hilkene, a former Kansas City resident. “It seemed like a great harmony of what we do and what we care about. It fosters innovation and, in this case, students having a fun project to get them excited about the technology and design.”
Hilkene said that the company plans to soon create a physical model of the trophy, but has yet to determine its final size and materials — whether plastic or metal. He said the trophy will be at least eight inches in height, but would prefer it to be larger as they plan to present it to the Royals organization.
“It really spoke to the Royals and the community,” said Hilkene, whose company generally prints things like medical implants, industrial tools and custom replacement parts. “(The students) had a lot of really cool details. The photo realism of the downtown skyline, Union Station, the train tracks and all that stuff was great. But the fact they worked in ‘Take the Crown’ and ‘Supported By The Fans’ and the 25-man-roster into the design was a really cool touch.”
The students’ teacher, Bill Griffiths, connected them with the contest after he decided to incorporate it into his 3D Printing course curriculum. He said the project and course helps students become comfortable with failure, improve attention to detail and foster critical thinking.
“Using class time for the KC Trophy was an easy decision,” Griffiths said in a release. “The students were so excited about the Royals – as was the entire city – that the contest presented the perfect opportunity to incorporate organic student interest into the classroom. … It is a lot of fun as a teacher to observe students thinking outside the box to solve a problem.”
For winning the contest, the students will receive $500 in cash and $1,000 in 3Diligent credit.